JANUARY 15, 2023
Swashbuckling India batter Virat Kohli on Sunday left the cricket world awed and enraptured after he struck a history-making 46th century in the third and final ODI against Sri Lanka in Thiruvananthapuram.
Virat Kohli toppled multiple records en route to his 74th international hundred against the Dasun Shanaka-led side in Kerala.
The ton was his 21st at home in the second-longest format of the sport, taking him clear of Sachin Tendulkar’s previous tally of 20.
During the course of his sensational innings, Virat Kohli also overtook Sri Lanka legend Mahela Jayawardene to occupy the fifth spot among the highest run-getters in ODIs. With 12,754 runs, Virat Kohli is now only behind Sachin Tendulkar (18,426), Kumar Sangakkara (14,234), Ricky Ponting (13,704), and Sanath Jayasuriya (13,430).
The India superstar looked in majestic touch throughout his unbeaten innings of 166 off 110 deliveries as he raced to a 74th international century overall.
During his blistering knock in the capital of Kerala, Virat Kohli showed a different dimension of his batting prowess as he smashed eight sixes, including one that went as far as 97 meters.
It is the most number of sixes the former India captain has slammed in during an ODI knock. Apart from eight hits over the fence, the Delhi-born cricketer’s knock was laced with 13 boundaries.
A sublime Virat Kohli completed his hundred in 85 deliveries but immediately shifted gears after accomplishing the landmark. The 166 not out is his highest score at home and the second-highest in One-Day Internationals.
Virat Kohli also became the first non-opener to have 5 scores of more than 150+ in ODIs.
Moreover, Virat Kohli is the quickest to amass 46 centuries in ODI cricket – a milestone he achieved in just 259 innings. On the other hand, the previous record holder Sachin Tendulkar needed 431 innings to get there.
This was his 10th century against Sri Lanka, making him the first man to score that many tons against a single team in ODIs. Previously, he and Sachin Tendulkar were tied at nine three-figure scores each against Sri Lanka, West Indies, and Australia respectively.
Earlier in the series, when he hit his 9th hundred against Sri Lanka, he became the only cricketer to have that many three-figure scores against two international sides. Kohli has nine tons against the West Indies as well.
Virat Kohli has been in sensational nick of late. This was his third hundred in his last four games, including his 44th ODI hundred in December against Bangladesh, ending a nearly three-year drought in the format.
The knock from the former India skipper got many ex-cricketers from across geographies talking in addition to critics like Gautam Gambhir heaping rich praise on him.
After Virat Kohli’s splendid innings, Pakistan wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal dubbed him the ” boss of this era.”
“Congratulations on yet another hundred Virat. Keep shining and keep entertaining everyone like you have done,” Kohli’s childhood coach Rajkumar Sharma said on Twitter.
“What absolute dominance by India in the final ODI, and the series! It’s wonderful to see Virat Kohli back at his best in white-ball cricket, this unbeaten 166 was special even by his lofty standards,” India legend VVS Laxman reacted.
“The centuries are starting to roll off the conveyor belt again for Virat Kohli,” noted cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle posted.
Fans too reacted to his blistering hundred.
“King Kohli domination at Kerala, 166* runs from just 110 balls, Take a bow, GOAT”, one fan reacted on Twitter.
“Another fan added, “What a show by Virat Kohli – 166* in just 110 balls with 13 fours and 8 sixes. A dominating innings, what a player. Take a bow, King Kohli!”
“Comparing Virat Kohli with a guy like Babar Azam is a disgrace to cricket”, a third wrote.
“It’s wonderful to see Virat Kohli back at his best in white-ball cricket, this unbeaten 166 was special even by his lofty standards,” a fourth summed up.
Meanwhile, in his first reaction to his 46th ODI hundred, Virat Kohli appeared to be extremely pleased with his display with the bat.
“I have no idea (about Player of Series awards). For me, it’s just a byproduct of the intent I have, a mindset that I play with. Mindset is always to help the team win, bat for as long as possible and if you do that, you end up making a difference,” he told Star Sports at the post-match presentation.
“I have always played for the right reasons, help the team as much as possible. It is just intent, playing for the right reasons. Ever since I came back from the long break, I have been feeling good. “I don’t have that desperation to get to a milestone. I am just enjoying my batting, being in a space where I can relax. Today (Sunday) as well, I was just happy to be out there batting. I am in a nice space right now and want this to continue,” he added.
Courtesy/Source: The post appeared on ClutchPoints